Mark Stewart triumphs at New Zealand Cycle Classic
Mark Stewart has won the 2022 New Zealand Cycle Classic title following a thrilling fifth and final stage held in central Wellington on Sunday.
The Scottish road and track cyclist, who has been living in New Zealand since the first lockdown, went into the final stage with a 38 second advantage on general classification.
After crossing the finish line in sixth position on Sunday – behind team mate Regan Gough who won the stage in spectacular fashion – Team Black Spoke’s Stewart had earned enough points to be crowned the overall Tour winner.
Upon being presented the yellow jersey in front of a large and vocal crowd in Midland Park in the centre of Lambton Quay, Stewart thanked his team mates and all the thousands of spectators who came out to watch the circuit race.
“You can’t underestimate how important an event like this is for New Zealand to have such a high calibre of riders mix with, hopefully, New Zealand’s next generation of talent, and then to top that and to put it in the capital city of the country, is phenomenal,” said Stewart.
“So to come here and to be the best rider in that field and to wear the yellow jersey, is really quite special.”
The race was lit up when George Bennett, Gough and Stewart put their heads down and lifted their pace, giving the crowds plenty to cheer about.
But it was Gough who in the final stages of the stage went out in front and had enough power in his legs to take the stage win in 1hr 08min 15 secs just ahead of Keegan Hornblow and Laurence Pithie.
New Zealand National team was presented the Team’s Classification jersey with Laurence Pithie taking out the U23/Young Rider jersey.
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